What do you believe is important when considering attending IMSA? - Peter Leahy '21 | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

What do you believe is important when considering attending IMSA? – Peter Leahy ’21

Peter Leahy ’21

Galesburg, IL

College Selection: Macalester College, Goal Major: Mathematics, Minor: Data Science

If there is one question to ask yourself before considering attending IMSA, it is definitely:

Are you ready to work hard?

Although this question sounds scary, I don’t want anyone to come to IMSA expecting a cakewalk because — full disclosure — IMSA’s going to be hard at times; however, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

There have been times I have spent most of my weekend on homework or devoted large chunks of time to solving a difficult problem. However, I always try to emerge from these kinds of situations with something new: maybe a better understanding of material or a new way to approach difficult problems (or even just a sense of satisfaction that I finally finished it). Rather than backing down when faced with a difficult situation, IMSA students rise to the occasion and view their struggles as a learning opportunity.

It’s also important to note that you rarely struggle alone: if you’re having trouble with work, then someone else is probably having that exact same problem. I find that when working with others, it’s both fun and informative as we all try and solve problems together. By working with others, each individual brings a unique perspective to approaching problems, which is incredibly important as you work your way towards a solution.

So, if you are willing to work hard often, collaborate with others, and unafraid of making mistakes while learning, I think that is a sign that you could be a very good IMSA Titan.